Survey workflow is the process of moving a survey from initial design to publication. Read this guide for a more in-depth tutorial for how to create, edit, validate, and publish a survey using Illume Survey Manager.
The Survey Designer resembles Windows Explorer, with a tree view on the left, and a building pane on the right. Every Illume survey contains a collection called “LOGIN”, which can be used for creating authenticated surveys.
To edit an existing survey, simply double-click on the survey name in the My Surveys tab of the Illume Survey Manager. If the survey does not appear under the My Surveys tab, the survey will need to be cloned or checked out from the Illume server. See “Checking Out a Survey“ for details.
If you have a license to the add-on “Translation Module” and your survey includes more than one language, you can view and edit the survey in any of its component languages. Simply select Language from the Edit menu within the Illume Survey Designer, and pick the language you want to work with.
The languages that appear in the list include all of the languages for which translations have been entered for the survey. The language marked by an asterisk (*) is the survey default language.
After a Survey has been published many of its attributes can be edited, and this editing can occur without interrupting live data collection.
The following types of changes can be made to a published survey:
Below is the List of things that are not possible within a Published Survey:
To display a list of all surveys on the Illume server:
On the right pane will be a list of all surveys. You can sort by Name or Project by clicking on the column header.
If a survey is checked out, the user to whom it is checked out can rename the survey under the My Surveys tab. Otherwise, the survey can be renamed under the Survey Administration tab. To rename a survey:
Cloning a survey is creating a copy, like doing a ‘Save As’ in Word. The copy is just like the original, but has no connection to the original. There are three ways to clone a survey:
A survey in the My Survey tab could be a new survey or a checked out survey. To clone the survey in the My Survey tab:
Cloning a remote survey copies a survey from an Illume server (the Survey Administration tab) onto the user’s local computer (My Surveys). This can be accomplished by cloning the remote survey while on the My Surveys tab, or cloning the remote survey while on the Survey Administration tab.
Reasons to clone a remote survey:
To clone a remote survey in the My Surveys tab:
A new survey editor window will appear displaying the contents of the survey just cloned.
If the current user has sufficient privileges to see the Survey Administration tab, surveys can be cloned directly from the Illume server.
Every time a change is made to a survey, the version number of the survey increases. Surveys start in version 0 when initially created. Once checked in, a survey is now in version 1 and remains in version 1 through the first publication. If changes are made after publication, and the survey is re-published, the version number increases incrementally. Every time a change is made within those versions Illume keeps a copy of the survey in its prior state. Cloning a previous version of a survey can be helpful in determining when changes were made between different versions of a survey.
To make a clone of a specific version of a survey:
The survey will be saved to the local machine and found in the My Surveys tab
There are three ways to remove a survey from the My Surveys list:
If the survey was obtained by checking it out from an Illume server and the user is connected or ‘logged-in’ to that server, selecting Cancel Check-out will delete the copy of the survey from the user’s computer and will undo the check-out. The Illume server’s copy of the survey will revert back to the state the survey was in before being checked out — discarding all changes — and the survey will again be available for others to check-out.
To cancel check-out of a survey:
If the survey was created by the user and has never been checked-in to any server, selecting Delete from the Edit menu will remove this survey from the user’s local machine. There is NOT AN UNDO for this operation. If a survey was checked-out from an Illume server but the user is not connected to that Illume server, it will be possible for the user to select Delete for that survey. This will delete the survey from the user’s local machine, forfeiting all changes, but will NOT notify the Illume server that the check-out has been cancelled. In this situation a DatStat Illume Administrator will have to release the user’s lock on that survey.
To delete your local copy of a survey:
A User with the Administrator role can delete a survey permanently from an Illume server.
Deleting a survey from the server means:
To delete a survey permanently, follow these steps:
To check-in a survey means to return a copy of the survey to the Illume server. Once a survey is checked in to the Illume server, the survey can be checked out by others for review and editing, can be approved for publication, and can be made available to participants. Checking in a survey also ensures a copy of the survey now lives on the server, rather than solely on a user’s desktop. It is a good practice to check in a survey at the end of your workday to ensure a copy resides on the server.
When a survey is first created, it will appear in the My Surveys list with a version number of zero, and a status of new survey. The host will be listed as ‘localhost’, meaning the survey exists only on the user’s local computer — the Illume server does not have a copy of it. If working with an existing survey that has been checked out from an Illume server, the version number will be greater than zero and the host will match the name of the Illume server from which the survey was checked out.
A user must be logged into the Illume server in order to check-in a survey. If not connected, reconnect by choosing “File Reconnect” from the Illume Survey Manager.
When connected to the Illume server, follow these steps to check a survey in:
Check-in only: Return the survey to the Illume server. Choose this if there will be further revisions made to the survey.
Check-in and request approval: Return the survey to the Illume server and request approval from a user with the Reviewer role. Choose this if the survey is ready for publication but requires a reviewer’s approval.
Check-in and approve for publication: Approve the survey, making it nearly ready for publication. Only users with the Review or Administrator role can do this.
Check-in, approve, and publish: Check the survey in, approve it, and publish it, meaning it is now ready for publication NOTE: When this option is chosen, a time period for publication must also be selected. See “Understanding Time Periods”.
Check-in as template only: Check this survey in as a template. A template is not a survey that is made available to participants. Rather it is used as a foundation on which to build other surveys. For example, the template may include a logo or branding that can be used as a basis for future surveys.
Check-in as template only and request approval: Check this survey in as a template and request that the template be approved for use by others.
Check-in as template only and approve: Check this survey in as a template and approve it immediately so others can start building surveys with it. When this option is selected, as users create a new survey they will see the template listed in the Choose Template dialogue.
Once OK is clicked, the survey is moved from the My Surveys tab, as Illume removes the local copy from the user’s machine. The survey will be moved to the Survey Administration tab.
To make further edits to the survey, it will have to be checked out from the Illume server. See Checking Out a Survey.
Survey templates are special surveys that cannot be published for live data collection, but can be used as the basis for future surveys. A survey template may include a login page, header/footer, logos, frequently used images, or even a few stock questions that an organization may use on a regular basis.Templates can save survey designers the trouble of having to hunt down commonly used resources and can help to ensure that surveys maintain a consistent look and feel.
When an Illume user creates a new survey, they are presented with a list of templates upon which to build the survey. Initially, this list only includes Illume‘s Default Template. Any survey that is saved as a template and approved will be added to the list of available templates and users will be able to create new surveys from those templates.
Problem: The user wants to check-in a survey, but the Check-in option is disabled (i.e. it appears in gray text, and cannot be clicked on).
Meaning: The user is not connected to the Illume server.
Solution: Choose “File – Reconnect” from the Illume Survey Manager menu to connect to the Illume server. Once connected, the user will be able to check-in the survey.
Problem: When trying to check a survey in, an error appears that says: “Survey check-in failed: Object is checked out as a different user.”
Meaning: If a user has more than one Illume account, and a survey is checked out under one login name, the survey cannot be checked back in under a different login name.
Solution: Reconnect to the Illume server using the same login name used to check the survey out, and then check the survey back in. Choose “File – Reconnect” from the Illume Survey Manager menu to reconnect to the server under a different login name.
Problem: When trying to check a survey in, an error appears that says: “Survey check-in failed: Object is not checked out.”
Meaning: This error usually means that while the survey was checked out, an Administrator or Reviewer canceled the check-out. In some cases, it may mean that the survey was deleted from the Illume server while it was checked out.
Solution: Before doing anything else, it is important to rename the local copy of the survey! When the Reviewer or Administrator canceled the check-out, the Illume server’s version of the survey reverted to the state the it was in when the survey was first checked out. The Illume server has no record of any of the changes made!
The local copy of the survey must be renamed before it is checked back out from the Illume server because when it is checked out, the Illume server overwrites the user’s version of the survey with its version. This means all of their changes will be lost!
To rename the local copy:
The survey can now be safely checked out from Illume without fear of overwriting the changed copy.
To edit an existing survey, it must first be checked out from the Illume server. Note that a user must be connected to the Illume server to check out a survey. If the Survey Administration tab is not in the Illume Survey Manager, a connection to the server has not been established. Choose File > Reconnect to connect to the server, and then follow the steps below.
A user may not check-out any survey that is currently checked out to someone else. However, a read-only version of the survey is viewable by double-clicking on the survey name and answering yes when asked if a preview is desired. This will display all of the survey questions in printable form. The view is the same as the Preview Survey Layout option available from Illume Survey Designer‘s File menu.
Keep in mind that the read-only version is the last version checked in to the Illume server. It does not include any edits that may have been made by the person who currently has the survey checked out. Illume will display the name of the person who has the survey checked out in the Last Action column to the right of the survey name. Contact that person to check the survey back in order to access it.
If the person is unreachable, a Survey Administrator or Reviewer can cancel the other user’s check-out, but breaking a check-out can result in the loss of any changes a user has made to a survey.
In some cases, it may become necessary to cancel another user’s check-out. For example, if one user checks out a survey and then is away from work, other users may need to review or edit that survey. However, because the survey is checked out, the other users would be unable to gain access to it.
Users with the role Administrator or Reviewer are able to cancel another user’s check-out. Before doing this, be aware that canceling a check-out results in the loss of any changes the user made while he or she had the survey checked out.
When a check-out is cancelled, the master copy of the survey on the Illume server reverts to the version that the user had checked out. Whatever changes the user may have made to the survey remains in the user’s local copy of the survey, but these changes will not make it back to the Illume server.
To cancel another user’s checkout:
To check whether a survey is valid, choose Tools / Validate Survey from the Survey Designer menu. Validation also occurs automatically every time you Save your survey. If the Survey Validator finds any problems, it will explain them. You may save a survey that has validation errors, but you cannot check it in until the errors are resolved.
A survey may become invalid when any of the following occur:
Only users with the role Reviewer or Administrator can approve surveys. Once a survey has been approved, it can be published.
To approve a survey:
Only Reviewers and Administrators can reject surveys.
To reject a survey:
Rejected surveys cannot be published. They must be edited and resubmitted for approval before they can be published.
A survey’s description appears in the Illume Study Manager in the My Surveys or Survey Administration Tab.
To edit this description:
Illume Survey Designer keeps track of up to 8 previous changes. To undo any of these changes choose the Edit Undo icon from the Survey Designer menu, or press Control-Z. To redo any action that has been undone choose the Edit Redo icon from the Survey Designer menu, or by pressing Control-R.
When users check in, check out, approve or reject the surveys, these actions become part of the survey’s Survey Action History. These events, along with comments made during these events, are available for review. In addition, the Survey Action History provides the ability to view at which of the stages in a survey’s history did changes occur to the survey, and clone the survey in its prior states.
To review a survey’s history:
Illume surveys rely on two features for security: authentication and encryption.
Authenticated surveys require survey participants or interviewers to provide some kind of credentials to access the survey. The individual designing the survey determines what the credentials will be. It may be a name/password combination or a simple user ID. Associated to an authenticated survey is a participant list. A participant list identifies the individuals who should be given access to a survey. Illume validates each visitor’s credentials against the participant list before admitting the visitor into the survey. If the credentials are valid, and if the credentials have not already been used for that survey, then the visitor is let in to the survey.
Illume supports both auto-authentication and manual authentication. For auto-authenticated surveys, participants access the survey through a unique URL sent via an email. That URL embeds their unique credentials, such that when the participant clicks the link, he/she is taken directly into the survey without ever needing to know or enter the credentials. Alternatively surveys can be set up for manual authentication. For this type of survey, participants are taken to a login page wherein they must enter their unique credentials to enter the survey.
Illume also supports unauthenticated surveys. For these types of surveys, no credentials are required for entry.
As participants move from page to page in a survey, the data are automatically encrypted and sent to the server. Illume surveys hosted by DatStat use secure https connections with 128-bit encryption and signed SSL certificates. These settings are also the supported configuration requirements for most customers hosting their own Illume servers. The signed SSL certificate enables the participant’s browser to verify the identity of the Illume server. The encrypted connection protects information exchanged between the participant’s browser and the Illume survey by making data unintelligible to any third party attempting to intercept the communication.
Every page the participant submits to the Illume server is encrypted, and every page the server sends to the participant’s browser is encrypted. Illume‘s 128-bit encryption uses the same employed by online banking and other commercial web applications requiring the highest levels of security.
The only way to access submitted survey data is through the Data Manager. The Data Manager enforces user access restrictions defined by the system administrator, preventing users from unauthorized access to data. Users must supply a valid login name and password. Valid users are further secured by role-based access and can see only those objects to which the Illume Administrator has granted them access.
Users can perform only those tasks (e.g., creating, modifying and deleting objects) that their roles allow. The Illume System Administrator manages users, roles, and project-level access. For example, one user may be able to create queries of survey results, whereas another user can only run queries created by other users.
The Illume system administrator can deactivate users at any time, or schedule their access privileges to expire on a specified date.
The Survey Manager uses a secure https connection to communicate with the Illume server for checking surveys in and out, publishing surveys, browsing the repository, etc. The Illume Survey Manager application will not connect to an Illume server with an invalid SSL certificate. Once the connection is established, all communications are encrypted.
The Illume SDK (Software Development Kit) communicates with the Illume server through Web Services. The connection between custom-built SDK components and the Illume server uses the secure https protocol, 128-bit encryption, and the Illume server’s signed SSL certificate. The Illume system administrator can set up special “non-interactive” user accounts for SDK software to use when connecting to Illume Web Services. Components created with the SDK must provide a valid user name to access Illume Web Services. The Illume system administrator can restrict the data to which an SDK application has access by narrowly defining the roles and object-privileges of each non-interactive user.
The DatStat Web Applications (Enterprise Manager, Data Manager, Data Change Module, Discovery) also use https, 128-bit encryption, and a signed SSL certificate.
For academic, medical, and scientific research projects, HIPAA regulations or the study’s Internal Review Board may mandate the separation of participant-submitted data from data that can identify a user. The separation of roles and privileges can help to ensure that members of the research team cannot connect individual responses to individual participants.
While Illume‘s user authentication and encrypted communications prevent unauthorized users from seeing data, survey designers, Illume administrators, system/database administrators and SDK developers each play a role in maintaining security.
Use an encrypted password in the Web.config file for the Illume Designer Service.
It is possible to drag an entire survey out of the Illume Survey Manager and drop it into a folder or application. For example, a survey can be dragged from your My Surveys tab onto your desktop, and then attached to a Microsoft Outlook email message. The recipient of the email can then drag the attachment back into Illume for editing.
The survey that is dragged into and out of Illume is an XML document. It’s in a format that another Illume user can edit with the Illume Survey Designer. It’s not in a format that a survey participant can fill out. Because the survey is an XML file, the types of applications into which you can drag it include email clients (such as Microsoft Outlook), text editors (such as Notepad), and browsers (such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox).
Survey templates are reusable models upon which surveys can be built. A template may include headers, footers, images, questions, and blocks of HTML. Templates are valuable as they save you and your colleagues time in that you don’t have to rebuild something you or your colleagues have already built.
To create a new template: